Friday, December 29, 2023

Supergirl Best Of 2023 Part Three: Comic Moments #5-1

Welcome to the last post looking back at 2023 and Supergirl's best moments in comics over the year. 

Over the last two days (head here for day one and here for day two) , I've done an overall review of the year, looked at Supergirl's appearances in movies, my commissions this year, and started the 'best of' list including the honorable mentions.

But today is the big day, the top 5 comic moments for Supergirl in 2023. 

I had a hard time truly ranking these top 5 so just know that they are relatively interchangeable in rank in my mind. I'll again say that there were plenty of good moments over the year for the character. But always in the role of supporting player, background guest. 

Some might say these were crumbs. But as a supervisor of mine used to say all the time, 'crumbs make a cake'. There have been years that have been rough for the character, years where I could barely put together a 'best of' list. 

I loved this year for the character. If only her one solo story allowed her to shine!

On to the list!

Comic Moment #5 - Batman/Superman World's Finest #12 - 'I'm proud of you'

We had heard about Dick's terrible date with Kara early on in the World's Finest book. I was so pleased when we actually got to see that lousy encounter in total in the twelfth issue.

Mark Waid just understands the character. During the date, Supergirl simply realized that she didn't like who she was becoming when she was with Dick that night. She is mature enough to recognize her own feelings and act in a healthy way.

But more importantly, I love how she implies how she recognized that Dick was the way he was because he wanted approval, a sort of backhanded way of saying how Batman is screwing him up.

And then most importantly, Superman is proud of her. This is some years ago when Kara is younger and probably looking for Superman's approval (although not as insanely as Dick does with Bruce). It shows they have a more collegial relationship and less sidekick-y. Great end page.  

Comic Moment #4 - Lazarus Planet Alpha - 'No fear'

During the Lazarus Planet storyline, the heroes form a quick team to try and rescue the Devil Nezha to fight King Fire Bull. In the Lazarus Planet Alpha issue, Supergirl is a leader, a powerhouse, and a moral compass reminding the heroes they don't kill even if up against literal devils.

But here was my favorite moment. Supergirl is temporarily dazed by the fear-inducing effects of Golden Horn King. But then Blue Devil reminds that Supergirl doesn't succumb to fear. She steels herself and lashes out.

How great that an established hero like Blue Devil looks at Supergirl as fearless. And how great that she is able to shake off the fear and fight. Brilliant.

Comic Moment #3 - Knight Terrors Superman #2 - 'I know who I am'

In Knight Terrors Superman, Supergirl was faced with her nightmare, a panoply of Karas in all her outfits. With relative ease, she recognized it as a nightmare and battled on, eventually joining Superman in his own horrific visions.

Look at how writer Joshua Williamson just captures the current Supergirl so effortlessly. Sometimes she feels like she is still building a life on Earth like Superman has. That makes sense ... she is still a relative newcomer to this world. 

Also, she knows who she is. She didn't need to be afraid of visions of herself because she is comfortable and confident in her own skin and with who she has become.

How great to read of a Supergirl who is confident but still growing, still learning! 

Not trying to be negative but contrast this to the Kara we saw in her special, the one weighed down by social media, emotionally hurt to the point of inactivity and pettiness, and not having any memories of Krypton. 

Comic Moment #2 - Action Comics Doomsday Special - 'Facing off with the devil'

Which actually nicely leads us into the #2 best comic moment on 2023, in the Doomsday Special. How funny that Supergirl is given a much better show here in this special rather than her own. Kudos to writer Dan Watters and artist Eddy Barrows.

In Hell, Doomsday has died a million times over and is now resurrected to the point of near omnipotence. Doomsday is so strong he is about to upset the power structure of Hell, gaining believers in the lesser demons and about to smash into reality. The powers that be want to remain the powers that be and so recruit Supergirl to fight their battle for them.

How utterly fantastic is Supergirl's response to Neron when he initially proposes the fight. Arms crossed defiantly, she says 'Fat chance, pal. Do it yourself!'

Supergirl just told off the Devil. 

That is totally worthy of being the second best moment of the year. She stood up to and sassed Neron. Excellent.

Throughout these top nine, there has been this running theme of Supergirl being comfortable in who she is - a junior hero, a role model, a scholar, a fighter, a leader. 

So what could be the number one moment?

Comic Moment #1 - Superman #7 - 'Field Commander Kara'

That theme just seemed completely encapsulated in this page from Superman #7, written by Joshua Williamson with art by Gleb Melnikov.

A major new threat, The Chained, has appeared in the skies of Metropolis and Superman has already been defeated by him. It is up to the super-family to defend the city.

In this splash page, we see Supergirl leading the charge. She is the field commander, with Natasha, Conner, and Jon following her into battle. She is the one who deploys them in the city, sending some out on rescue duty while she takes him on herself.

Confident, strong, a leader, a role model. I like this 2023 Supergirl and this page captures it perfectly. This was my #1 Supergirl moment of the year because it was the distilled essence of how she was (for the most part) treated.

I don't know what 2024 will bring us Supergirl fans but for now this one is happy.

And what about you? What moments did I forget? Was my ranking off? And what was your favorite Supergirl moment?


John (somewhere in England) said...

A favourite Supergirl moment for me, which I think deserves an honourable mention, was when Supergirl threw a seat at her opponent in Monkey Prince 10 with the caption "Let's see if we can do something about that hairdo, Sir! Have a seat!" That made me chuckle.

Any yes, I agree - Bernard Chang is a great Supergirl artist.

All The Best to ANJ and all SCBC readers for 2024!

Anonymous said...

Love your lists - a great summation of the year. These were all great choices. While sometimes Supergirl has gotten taken out of the action too early, and sometimes barely has had any dialog or engagement, there have indeed been many fine moments during the year. Hoping we get another try for a good solo story or starring role in 2024.

Thanks for super blogging about Supergirl and the whole Super family for another excellent year!

Happy New Year, Anj, and to all the regular readers.


PT Dilloway said...

I have read none of those but it's something to look forward to. I hope they don't reboot the character too soon. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Great list! Always look forward to these lists to see if there is anything I missed with Supergirl for the year. Loved your crumbs analogy. Although they were crumbs, they were not only nutritious but delicious too. No empty calories here. 2023 certainly was a good year for her.

One of my favorite Supergirl moments this year was Kara was calming down and hugging Osul in Action 1060. Not sure if this happened too recently to make the list but I always love seeing Supergirl in a comforting, compassionate role.

Another moment I remember was Supergirl saving Batman from Newmazo in World’s Finest. I know it’s an old trope to have Supergirl come blazing in and punch the big bad to help save her friends but I will never get tired of it.

Looking forward to seeing your reviews on the Action Comics Annual and JL vs Godzilla vs Kong. I reckon there may be some moments in these books that will make the 2024 list.

I’m hoping we get to see more of this Supergirl described in these moments from your list in the new year. Cheers!


William Ashley Vaughan said...

I'm enjoying seeing the New Year go out in a blaze of Supergirl at her decent, compassionate, never-say-die best between the Action Comics annual, JL v. Godzilla v. Kong, and your best of the year lists. She can be an amazing and compelling character when creators and editors remember that the s stands for hope, not hopelessly depressed. I can hardly wait for your reviews to resume.

Martin Gray said...

Well, I don’t think I can come up with a better Kara moment this year but I hope I get points for predicting the Neron scene would make the list - I love sassy Supergirl.

Thanks for another great year of blogging, and it’s been great to hear you on several podcasts talking Supergirl and other stuff.

Prepare to own 2024, Anj.

Happy New Year. Everyone!

Anonymous said...

I know this isn't really relevant in the grand scheme, but that final image really incapsulated things: the costumes for the extended Superfamily are so awful now. Instead of wearing variations of Superman's suit, why are they all now in variations of Conner Kent's original 1993 jacketed look?

This is one of the most egregious examples of modern comic creators being embarrassed of superheroes' roots. Costumes now all need to look utilitarion and "fuctional". Heck with that - bring back the unashamed tights, spandex and capes!

Anonymous said...

Supergirl's current costume is nothing but a rip off of that colorful hazmat suit the MCU Captain Marvel wears...ironic given that bronze age "Ms. Marvel" was a bit of a Supergirl rip off unto herself.
But Kudos to our host in a year given to dribs and drabs of Supergirl, some awful some delightful, he still weaves together a worthwhile seamless tapestry at year's end. "Anj takes one for the team" every time!


Anj said...

Thanks for all the well wishes!

Hoping we get a Supergirl book this year.

But hoping that all the positivity I saw this year with the character continues!

And sincere thanks to all who visit!